Students and parents are already gearing up for college payment decisions, so we put together a student loan miniseries on our Youtube Channel to help get the knowledge out there. #MyCollegeCorner features weekly updates, so subscribe to stay on track with your plan. Today’s episode covers subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Stay tuned for insight on Parent Plus in upcoming episodes.
Times are changing! It was an exciting #AmericaSavesWeek Feb 27-March 4 and much was learned. Check your socials for #ASW17 or #ASW2017 for loads of financial wisdom and motivation from a variety of institutions. If you ever wonder if it’s making an impact, remember a new generation “Gen-Z” grew up in the “Financial Crises” era with a different view of money not seen since the Great Depression, so get ready to roll out even more financial literacy content to support their goals and share prosperity!
“Yet Gen Z were shown to be a generation of savers having grown up post-financial crash, with 25% saying they would rather save for the future than spend money they don’t have and 22% saying they never spend on “unnecessary, frivolous things” because saving is so important. These attitudes were shared with the Silent Generation, with 43% and 25% of respectively.”
The study also notes that this is a generation that grew up with the internet and is accustomed to information being made available quickly on any modern device. It’s a long way from the dial-up modem days!
Feel old yet? THINK AGAIN! Traditional institutions like banks, credit unions, educational non-profits and 529 providers are in position to grow using a combination of new technology and time tested wisdom already present in your culture. Technology is more socialized with Gen Z to where expectations for simple online tools has grown. They have goals and want to move forward. Will your organization help or hinder this process? Here’s a few ideas:
What is your narrative? Even if you think your organization doesn’t have one, or maybe it’s to “maximize shareholder value” (No small feat), your group’s goals are a piece of the greater story Gen-Z is living through. Are you helping them get where they want to be? If the answer is a resounding “YES” then stick to it and continue to empower Gen-Z with your traditions adapted up to new technology. Yes, you can promote financial literacy to a new generation of savvy savers and they want to engage your organization to do so!
Your content can provide both sides of the story: Let’s face it, it’s a noisy environment on social media. There appears to be a storm in every news cycle, and the cycles are happening faster than ever! The good news is your organization does not need to pick sides on hot media topics (Education, Healthcare, Government are astoundingly media driven at times), it just needs to know both sides of the story. If you are sticking with a principled narrative, you help people guide themselves through any situation using your concepts and ideas. Gen Z is very aware that a single story may be interpreted in many different ways, so instead of pushing an agenda, keep it simple and show both sides of the story while promoting honest dialogue. Keep your comments section open to allow different views to participate and communicate perspective on your content.
Help with decision making first: There’s a lot of options! We’ve learned this first hand at Invite Education with software covering the financial variables related to college attendance. With over 4,000 institutions of higher learning plus a huge scholarship database, the best thing we can do is provide transparency and financial literacy fundamentals to help families make smart decisions. We realize there is no perfect “one way” for everyone, so we take a “Consumer Reports” approach to the question of college choice. This way anyone can use the resources and find what they need. Just let people make their own personal decisions with your organization’s assistance. This is far removed from the days of pushing product first on radio or tv. It’s about targeting the goals of your audience first and providing value with products/services supporting those goals featured second. Gen-Z is ready to move their life forward, are you ready to help?
Learn more about Invite Education; Subscribe to the Youtube Page for great interviews, college planning advice and more.
Making sense of complex college funding questions just got easier!
Check out the Invite Education YouTube channel for #MyCollegeCorner videos featuring answers to your most common questions, and insight on how best to proceed.
The Free Money Mini-Series begins this week bringing light to the subject of grants and scholarships, your favorite money from the financial aid office since it does not need to be paid back like a loan. Like, Share and Subscribe!
Highlights from theRI Jump$tart Financial Capability Conference!
Financial literacy is modernizing with new tools to deliver empowering knowledge helping people make smart financial decisions. It’s grown to include #DigitalLearning #BlendedLearning and #PersonalFinance and more as featured throughout the conference. Invite Education supports these initiatives, with Jeff Bentley in attendance, providing copies of the new book “Plan and Finance your Family’s College Dreams”:
Thanks so much to the Harvard Coop for hosting the event!
- Grade and age appropriate guidance for parents with newborns through 12th grade Admissions and financial aid tips
- Learning about 529 plans for college savings
- Important deadlines that can’t be missed
- Audience questions on planning and paying for college
Date: Tuesday December 6, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Location: Harvard Coop. 1400 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02238
Contact: 617-499-2000 www.thecoop.com
Have you looked into getting admitted to a preferred school much earlier than standard admissions deadlines? Then you’re probably considering an “early decision” or “early action” where the student chooses to attend a specific college much earlier than standard admissions deadlines.
Know the difference: Early decision (ED) refers to a binding decision to attend a specific school. Students taking early decision commit to one specific school as early as the fall semester of senior year, foregoing admission to any other institution. Early Action (EA) is a non-binding admissions process where students are notified very early of their acceptance but may choose to attend a different school.
Early decision: How’s it paid for? Going forward with an early decision requires organization and a clear path to covering the balance. Traditionally, the biggest challenge associated with early decision was affordability, since the choice was made without comparing actual financial aid offers from other schools. Gaining early admission with the means to pay the bill outright regardless of financial aid and scholarships works for some, but not all families. If the financial aid offered with an early decision application is too low, families have the option to appeal the decision and ultimately reject if proven unaffordable. Going through early decision only to end up not attending is an avoidable stress through realistic college planning, so unless the school is an absolute “must attend” situation, it may not be worth applying this way. It’s expected that students only submit one early decision application to one school, but may also submit standard applications to other schools by agreeing to withdraw those applications if accepted for the early decision school. There is a wide gap from early admissions beginning in November to when standard admissions deposits are due in May, so be aware of deadlines to know when a final decision is required.
Early action: What are my options? Early action admissions allow students the benefit of immediately applying to several schools instead of just one. This allows for families to compare financial aid offers without being bound to just one institution. Early action has become much more common to help students zero in on their final college choice after recognizing all their best options. Early action does require a pro-active approach to make sure each school has all admissions and financial aid information available allowing for clear comparisons between offers.
Financial aid applications are early too: The FAFSA (and CSS Profile) has been available since October 1, 2016 for college students beginning their freshman year in Fall 2017. This is 3 months earlier than the traditional January 1st FAFSA date, allowing more time for schools to begin sorting through many financial aid requests and early admission applications. Since this is the first time FAFSA is being made available so early, most schools are still following regular deadlines like in March, April and May. But for families handling early admissions, this earlier date hopefully provides more breathing room to compare options.
Merit based vs need based funding: Remember the differences between college funding. Grants are need based financial aid awards provided by federal, state and school programs considering income and asset information on the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile. Merit based scholarships are awarded to students considering high test scores, grades, sports, community service and other student qualities and achievements. When making a final choice about early admissions, make sure the financial aid award letter accounts for both need based and merit based funding eligibility. You want a complete financial picture when comparing school options, which is why all your financial aid documentation needs to be filed as early as possible.
Visiting colleges is fun, but with all the excitement, it’s easy to miss some important lasting details that can make (or break) a campus experience.
Know the costs before you go: Make comparing campuses easy by knowing the tuition, room, board and expenses before the visit. This way you can enjoy the experience while being practical about the value provided and how it can be paid for.
Try the food: Meal plans have a variety of options to match student needs and schedule. Stop by the cafeteria or other food vendors on campus to look for….
- Quality: Is the food worth the cost of the meal plan? Is there enough fresh food available to keep students healthy and energized?
- Access: Where is the cafeteria and what’s the time schedule? Are there multiple food locations open at different hours serving different food?
Talk to the students: Ask about their experience and why they chose the school. What do they like best, or are there some things they want to see improved? Hearing it directly from current students can provide great insight to make a decision.
What’s the campus like? A campus can change rapidly depending on the day of the week. Big events and sports will take over space, especially during football season. Other schools may be very busy during the week and very quiet on weekends. Compare schools considering their percentage of resident and commuter students to recognize differences in campus life.
Class drop-ins: If possible, stop into a class room to listen and learn. Be on the look out for teachers in majors you are interested in. Ask questions about their respective programs and gauge your own interest in pursuing more knowledge. How would you handle class in this environment?
Facilities: A campus is made up of many buildings and locations. Gyms, class rooms, labs and parking are just some of the things in plain view, but while on tour look for details like how spacious or crowded it was and the ability to navigate between buildings. Ideally, you are looking for very safe, clean and well managed locations. Most importantly, how’s the internet connection?